Timeline of 5G

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This is a timeline of 5G, the fifth generation of cellular network technology.

Sample questions

The following are some interesting questions that can be answered by reading this timeline:

  • What are some important milestones in the development of 5G?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Milestone".
    • You will see standout events like the first adoption of 5G by a country.
  • Which are some developed network standards related to 5G?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Network standard".
    • You will see a list of standards approved by 3GPP, the standards organization that develops protocols for mobile telephony.
  • What are some significant events related to spectrum use for 5G?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Spectrum use".
    • You will see information on a variety of frequencies, including millimetre wave and sub-6GHz.
  • What are some of the many 5G tests and trials conducted around the world?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Testing".
  • What are some important fundings and other events related to 5G R&D?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Research and development".
  • What are some notable partnerships between countries and organizations related to the development of 5G?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Partnership".
  • Which are some notable 5G-related products (handsets, modems) launched or to be released?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Product launch".
  • Which are the most notable companies involved in the development and network launch of the 5G generation?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Organization".
    • This will help you make sense of the most notable organizations given their number of occurrences.
  • Which countries are involved in the development and adoption of 5G so far?
    • See the Summary by country section in the big picture for an overview.
    • For more details, sort the full timeline by "Country/location". This will help you make sense of the countries most involved in the development and adoption of 5G given their number of occurrences.
  • Which are some notable 5G-related products (handsets, modems) launched or to be released?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Product".
  • What are some indicative figures on 5G userbase and market penetration?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Userbase".
    • You will see market penetration in pioneering countries.

Big picture

Summary by year

Key year Development summary
2011 The first studies considering millimeter wave as a key component for cellular 5G networks appear around this time.[1]
2012 5G research is conducted in countries like Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
2013 In Japan, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone leads 5G research. Samsung in South Korea announces development of the technology. India and Israel start a program. Chinese companies, including Huawei, start research on 5G.
2014 Japan establishes its 5G Mobile Forum. A 5G mobile strategy starts in South Korea. The European Commission earmarks €700 million for 5G research starting in this year.[2]
2015 Some consider the road to 5G having begun in this year, with the International Telecommunication Union’s IMT-2020 framework, which sets out the general requirements and future development of the next-generation mobile technology.[3] Huawei demonstrates the world’s first 5G testbed working on sub-6 GHz frequency band.
2016 Vast amounts of bandwidth in underused high-band spectrum are freed in the United States for 5G. Chinese companies begin conducting technical trials. The European Union adopts its action plan with the objective of launching 5G services in all 28 member states by the end of 2020.[4] Nokia, NTT Docomo, and Ericsson among others, lead 5G research.
2017 77 operators in 49 countries complete 5G trials. The non-standalone (NSA) mode of 5G NR specifications are approved by 3GPP.[5]
2018 A number of countries start launching limited 5G networks in selected locations. Qatar launches its network, but 5G mobiles are not available at the time. Elisa launches commercial 5G networks in Tampere and Tallinn. South Korea rolls out a 5G trial at the 2018 Winter Olympics.[6] 3GPP approves standard frozen.[5]
2019 The first countrywide commercial 5G network deployment occurs in South Korea.[5]
2020 5G services are expected to be launched in many major cities.[7] Global 5G wireless network infrastructure revenue is expected to reach US$4.2 billion by this year. 5G smartphone shipments are estimated to number at around 260 million units in the year.[8]
2021 By this year, mobile and network communications applications, products, and services would be built mostly around 5G. Smartphone shipments using this technology are estimated to number at around 540 million units in the year.[8]

Summary by country

Key country 5G development
South Korea South Korea is recognized as the world's first country to roll out 5G on a large scale. Samsung, SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus are South Korean companies involved in the development and deployment of the technology.
China China is considered to be a leading country in telecommunications, as Japan was when it pioneered 3G in the early 2000s, and the United States in 2011 when the country dominated the launch of 4G. As of December 2019, China has the largest 5G userbase in the world.[9][8] 5G deployment is strongly backed by the government. China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom are major 5G network players.[10]
United States The United States is considered to be a well advanced country in terms of 5G.[10] It is the leader in spectrum efficiency, permitting the repurposing of broadcast spectrum for broadband.[6] AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Corporation, and T-Mobile US are important players in this country.[10] US carriers prefer using midband and millimeter wave spectrum for 5G from the outset.[11]
Europe Europe's adoption of 5G is only months behind the United States. The focus in this region is almost entirely on using midband, which brings slightly slower speeds than millimeter wave used in the US, but which works over long distances.[11]
Japan Japan is considered to be among the top 5G network developers. NTT Docomo, SoftBank, and KDDI stand among the top players developing 5G in the country.[6]

Summary of all cellular network generations

Time period Cellular network generation Operating cellular frequencies Speed Development summary
1979–1991 1G 800 MHz[12]–1900 MHz[13] Maximum 2.4 Kbps[14] Exclusive period of the first generation of wireless cellular technology, which features and supports voice only.[12] It starts with the first commercially automated cellular network launched in Japan by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) in 1979. In 1981, the Nordic Mobile Telephone system simultaneously launches in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
1991[15]–onwards 2G GSM: 900MHZ, 1800MHz. CDMA: 800MHz[12] 50 Kbps[14] Second generation cellular network lifetime, which features multiple users on single channel, and supports voice and data.[12] It is first commercially launched on the GSM standard in Finland[15] by Radiolinja.
1998[15]–onwards 3G 2100 MHz[12] 2 Mbps on stationary or non-moving devices and 384 Kbps on devices in moving vehicles[14][15] Third generation lifetime of wireless mobile telecommunications technology, starting with the first commercial 3G networks introduced in 2000.[16][17][18][19]
2009–onwards 4G 600 MHz–2.5 GHz[13] Maximum 400 Mbps[15] 500 times faster than 3G[15], the fourth generation lifetime of wireless mobile telecommunications technology starts with the first-release Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard commercially deployed in Oslo and Stockholm in 2009. Instead of replacing, 5G is building on 4G LTE, using updated radios and software.[20]
2019 5G Enables about 28 GHz[13] Maximum in the theoretical range 10 Gbps[21]–20 Gbps[14] 5G is first deployed in South Korea on a national basis. Many elements of 5G technology is built on 4G networks, rather than representing a complete departure of the generation.[22] In most cases, 5G has built on 4G deployment.[23]
2030 6G  ? 1 Tbps?[24] NTT Docomo aims to launch 6G on a commercial basis by 2030.[25] China has already two working groups overseeing research around 6G.[24]

Visual data

The table and image below illustrate the evolution of worldwide wireless infrastructure revenue forecast in millions of dollars across different segments, for the years 2018 to 2021.[7]

Year 5G 2G 3G LTE and 4G Small Cells Mobile Core
2018 612.9 1503.1 5578.4 20454.7 4785.6 4599
2019 2211.4 697.5 3694 19322.4 5378.4 4621
2020 4176 406.5 2464.3 18278.2 5858.1 4787.3
2021 6805.6 285.2 1558 16352.7 6473.1 5009.5
Wireless Infrastructure Revenue Forecast, Worldwide, 2018-2021 (in millions of dollars).png

Wikipedia Views

The image below shows pageviews of the Wikipedia page 5G since December 2007 for desktop, and since July 2015 (see red line) for mobile-web and mobile-app.[26]

5G Wikipedia Views across devices.png

The image below shows pageviews of the Wikipedia pages 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G from July 2015 onward.[27]

1G-5G Wikipedia Views.png

Google Trends

The image shows Google Trends data comparing all generations of wireless technology for digital cellular networks.[28]

1G-5G Google Trends.png

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Organization Frequency range (when aplicable) Details Country/location
2008 April Partnership NASA, Machine-to-Machine Intelligence (M2Mi) Corp NASA partners with Geoff Brown and Machine-to-Machine Intelligence (M2Mi) Corp to develop 5G communications technology.[29] United States
2010 Research and development NTT Docomo NTT Docomo starts studying and experimenting with 5G.[30] Japan
2011 Spectrum use Millimeter wave The first studies considering millimeter wave as a key component for cellular 5G networks appeared around this time.[1]
2012 August Research and development NYU WIRELESS New York University founds NYU WIRELESS, a multi-disciplinary academic research center that would conduct pioneering work in 5G wireless communications.[31][32][33] United States
2012 October 8 Research and development University of Surrey The UK's University of Surrey secures £35million for a new 5G research center, jointly funded by the British government's UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) and a consortium of key international mobile operators and infrastructure providers, including Huawei, Samsung, Telefonica Europe, Fujitsu Laboratories Europe, Rohde & Schwarz, and Aircom International. It aims at offering testing facilities to mobile operators keen to develop a mobile standard that uses less energy and less radio spectrum while delivering speeds faster than current 4G with aspirations for the new technology to be ready within a decade.[34][35][36][37] United Kingdom
2012 November 1 Program launch The EU project "Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty Information Society" (METIS) starts its activity towards the definition of 5G. METIS achieves an early global consensus on these systems. In this sense, METIS plays an important role of building consensus among other external major stakeholders prior to global standardization activities. This is done by initiating and addressing work in relevant global fora (e.g. ITU-R), as well as in national and regional regulatory bodies.[38] European Union
2012 November Program launch The iJOIN EU project is launched, focusing on "small cell" technology, which is of key importance for taking advantage of limited and strategic resources, such as the radio wave spectrum. According to Günther Oettinger, the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society (2014–2019), "an innovative utilization of spectrum" is one of the key factors at the heart of 5G success. Oettinger further describes it as "the essential resource for the wireless connectivity of which 5G will be the main driver".[39] European Union
2012 Research and development NTT Docomo NTT Docomo starts working on a real-time 5G system simulator.[40] Japan
2012 Late year Research and development NTT Docomo 11 GHz NTT Docomo performs 5G uplink field trials using a base station and 2 mobile terminals in an outdoor environment, and each user obtains an uplink data rate of 10 Gbps with a 400 MHz bandwidth in the 11 GHz band, using 8 transmiting and 16 receiving antennas.[40] Japan
2013 May 12 Research and development Samsung Samsung Electronics announces development of a "5G" system. The core technology has a maximum speed of tens of Gbit/s (gigabits per second). In testing, the transfer speeds for the "5G" network sends data at 1.056 Gbit/s to a distance of up to 2 kilometers with the use of an 8*8 MIMO.[41][42] South Korea
2013 July Partnership India and Israel agree to work jointly on development of fifth generation (5G) telecom technologies.[43] India, Israel
2013 October 1 Recognition Nippon Telegraph and Telephone NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone) wins Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Award at CEATEC for its 5G R&D efforts.[44] Japan
2013 November 6 Research and development Huawei Huawei announces plans to invest a minimum of $600 million into R&D for next generation 5G networks capable of speeds 100 times faster than modern LTE networks.[45] China
2013 Research and development Chinese companies begin conducting research on 5G.[9] China
2013 Organization Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, National Development and Reform Commission China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the National Development and Reform Commission establish the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group, which includes nearly 60 industry experts. The group is aimed at working to promote 5G research.[23] China
2014 January Program launch Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning The South Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the public-private partnership, 5G Forum, define their 5G mobile strategy. For that purpose, the Government allocates US$1.5 billion.[10] South Korea
2014 September Program launch Japanese Government Japan establishes its 5G Mobile Forum.[10] Japan
2015 March Notable report Next Generation Mobile Networks The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) alliance publishes its 5G White Paper, a set of operator requirements intended to guide the development of future technology platforms and related standards.[46]
2015 July Technology Huawei Sub-6 GHz The Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2015 is held. Huawei demonstrates the world’s first 5G testbed working on sub-6 GHz frequency band.[47] China
2015 Spectrum use Huawei Sub-6 GHz Huawei proposes bands blow 6 GHz as the primary working frequency of 5G.[47]
2016 January Spectrum use Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Sub-6GHz (3 GHz – 3.6 GHz) China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology officially reserves 3-3.6 GHz for 5G. 3.3-3.4 GHz is limited to indoor use.[10] China
2016 May 24 Testing NTT Docomo, Nokia In a trial jointly conducted with Nokia, NTT Docomo announces having achieved the world's first wireless real-time transmission of 8K video deploying radio access technology for 5G mobile communications systems.[48] Japan
2016 June 13 Testing NTT Docomo, Ericsson NTT Docomo and Ericsson announce successful completion of a joint Proof of Concept (PoC) of dynamic network slicing technology for 5G core networks. NTT Docomo is responsible the network slice creation and selection functions, and Ericsson developed technologies to perform network slice lifecycle and service management.[49]
2016 June Technology Qualcomm Sub-6 GHz Qualcomm announces a 5G New Radio prototype system and trial platform. The 5G NR prototype system operates in the sub-6 GHz spectrum bands and is utilized to showcase the company’s 5G designs to efficiently achieve multigigabit per second data rates and low latency.[47]
2016 July Spectrum use Federal Communications Commission Millimeter wave The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) frees up vast amounts of bandwidth in underused high-band spectrum for 5G. The Spectrum Frontiers Proposal (SFP) doubles the amount of millimeter-wave unlicensed spectrum to 14GHz and creates four times the amount of flexible, mobile-use spectrum the FCC has licensed to date.[50] United States
2016 Testing AT&T Millimeter wave AT&T starts conducting 5G field trials with millimeter wave spectrum.[5] United States
2016 Testing Chinese companies begin conducting technical trials on 5G.[9] China
2016 Research and development Federal Communications Commission The U.S. Federal Communications Commission announces a US$400 million funding dedicated to research on 5G.[10] United States
2016 Second half Testing China Mobile China Mobile starts to conduct 5G trials.[10] China
2017 January Testing Turkcell 15GHz[51] Turkcell, the largest mobile phone operator in Turkey, completes a 24.7 Gb/s 5G trial with Ericsson.[30] Turkey
2017 January Ministry of Industry and Information Technology The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in the People's Republic of China publishes a report on “Development Planning for Information and Communication Industry (2016-2020) in which it sets the objective of becoming one of the Global leaders of 5G.[10] China
2017 February Spectrum use Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute Millimeter wave South Korean Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute achieves the world first millimeter wave prototype system demonstrated in a running subway train with a peak data rate of 1.25 Gbps.[1] South Korea
2017 March 10 Partnership Ericsson, Mobitel Sri Lankan National Mobile Service Provider Mobitel partners with Ericsson with the signing of the 5G Island of Innovation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to bring 5G to Sri Lanka.[30][52] Sri Lanka
2017 March Testing Telenor, Huawei Millimeter wave (71-76 GHz/81-86 GHz)[53] Norwegian telecommunications provider Telenor jointly with Huawei successfully test 5G in Norway.[30][54] Norway
2017 May Spectrum use Communications and Information Technology Commission (Saudi Arabia), Mobily, STC, Zain 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 1800 MHz The Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission awards 160 MHz of additional IMT spectrum in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, and 1800 MHz bands to mobile operators Mobily, STC and Zain.[10] Saudi Arabia
2017 July Spectrum use Chinese Government Millimeter wave China approves 24.75-27.5 GHz and 37-42.5 GHz trials in the millimeter wave frequencies.[10] China
2017 August Telecom Regulatory Authority of India The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India releases a PDF[1] that outlines the 5G standard draft and shows a timeframe for when 5G should be deployed around the world.[30] India
2017 August Spectrum use Ericsson, Softbank 4.5 GHz Softbank and Ericsson in Japan perform 5G trials using 4.5 GHz frequencies.[10] Japan
2017 September Testing Ericsson, Irancell Iranian telecommunications Irancell and Ericsson perform their first 5G test in Tehran and announce that 5G would be available in Iran in 2020.[30] Iran
2017 September Testing Ericsson, KDDI Sub-6GHz (4.5 GHz) Starting in September 2017 to March 2018, Japanese telecommunications operator KDDI and Ericsson test a proof of concept in the 4.5 GHz frequency band in a many cities across Japan.[10] Japan
2017 October Program launch Chinese government The Chinese government launches its third phase of 5G technology research and development tests, with aims at getting pre-commercial products ready for when the first version of 5G standard comes out.[10] China
2017 October Technology SoftBank Group, ZTE Along with Chinese multinational ZTE, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group achieves DL speeds of 956 Mbps in Nagasaki.[10] Japan
2017 November Infrastructure Federal Communications Commission 24 GHz, 48.2 GHz The U.S. Federal Communications Commission makes available an additional 1700 MHz of high band spectrum for flexible terrestrial wireless use in the 24 GHz (24.25-24.45/24.74-25.25 GHz) and 47 GHz (47.2-48.2 GHz) bands.[10] United States
2017 November Milestone (technology) Ericsson, Telstra Millimeter wave Ericsson and Australian mobile network operator Telstra complete the world’s first 5G data call using 26GHz millimeter wave spectrum.[55] Australia
2017 Late year Network launch América Móvil Mexican telecommunications company América Móvil announces the release of 4.5 networks in anticipation of a 5G release.[30] Mexico
2017 December Network standard 3GPP The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) approves NSA 5G NR specifications.[5]
2017 December Testing KDDI, Samsung KDDI and Samsung in Japan complete a successful 5G demo on a train moving at over 100km/h.[10] Japan
2018 February Network launch Sprint Corporation Millimeter wave Sprint Corporation names Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. as its initial wave of millimeter wave 5G markets.[10] United States
2018 February Network launch Samsung, KT Corporation Millimeter wave (28 GHz) 5G is provided at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Samsung and KT Corporation provide a 4K streaming video service via a 5G network using 28 GHz spectrum.[10] South Korea
2018 March Network standard 3GPP The 3rd Generation Partnership Project approves standard frozen.[5]
2018 March Testing Six 5G trials are announced in the United Kingdom with each receiving between £2-5 million in government grants.[23] United Kingdom
2018 April Testing Government of China The government of China authorizes 5G trials in 16 cities.[10] China
2018 May Spectrum use Communications and Information Technology Commission Sub-6GHz The Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission issues testing licenses to Mobily, STC Group and Zain Group. The 3.6-3.8 GHz licenses allow the mobile network operators to test 5G with 100 MHz of spectrum between June 2018 and year-end 2019.[10] Saudi Arabia
2018 May Testing NTT Docomo Millimeter wave (28GHz) NTT Docomo achieves a 5G field trial at 28GHz, involving a 5G base station and a car travelling at around 293km/h.[10] Japan
2018 June Network standard 3GPP The 3rd Generation Partnership Project approves SA 5G NR specifications.[5]
2018 June Milestone (network launch) Elisa Sub-6GHz (3,4 GHz – 3,8 GHz) Finnish telecom operator Elisa launches the world’s first commercial 5G networks and starts selling subscriptions in Tampere and Tallinn.[56][57][58][59][60] Finland, Estonia
2018 June Network launch Vodafone Spain Sub-6GHz (3.6 GHz – 3.8 GHz)[61] Vodafone Spain launches 5G trials in Madrid, Valencia, Seville, and Barcelona.[62] Spain
2018 June Research and development Smart Communications Filipino wireless communications provider Smart Communications announces the launch of 5G TehnoLab, their 5G innovation lab.[30] Philippines
2018 June Spectrum use South Korean Government Sub-6GHz (3.4 GHz – 3.7 GHz) The South Korean Government allocates 280 MHz of 3.4-3.7 GHz spectrum at 3.3 trillion KRW.[10] South Korea
2018 July Ericsson, Telefónica Telecom Ericsson and Telefónica Telecom demonstrate a 5G data transfer of 27 Gbps in Bogotá.[30] Colombia
2018 July Network launch Ooredoo Sub-6GHz (3.5 GHz)[63] Doha–based Ooredoo announces launch of its 5G commercial network in Qatar. The company states it is waiting for manufacturers to produce 5G capable devices as these are not ready at the time.[10] Qatar
2018 August Testing Vodacom Sub-6GHz (3.5 GHz) Vodacom releases a 5G trial in Lesotho, showcasing a fixed wireless access (FWA) network using a temporary license in the 3.5 GHz band.[30] Lesotho
2018 September Network standard 3GPP The 3rd Generation Partnership Project approves Standard frozen.[5]
2018 September Program launch FCC The United States Federal Communications Commission announces its 5G FAST Plan in an effort to advance the country’s position among the countries that have deployed 5G networks. Part of this plan includes spectrum auctions.[64] United States
2018 September Testing NTT Docomo Millimeter wave (28GHz) NTT Docomo successfully achieves 25–27 Gbps download speeds in a 5G trial with Mitsubishi Electric.[30] Japan
2018 September Partnership Nokia, Turkcell Turkish mobile phone operator Turkcell announces an agreement with Nokia to develop 5G technologies.[30] Turkey
2018 September Spectrum use Department of Telecommunications Sub-6GHz (3.3-3.4 GHz) The Indian Department of Telecommunications orders operators to vacate spectrum in the 3.3-3.4 GHz range.[10] India
2018 September Spectrum use FICORA, Telia Finland, Elisa Finland, DNA Sub-6GHz (3.4 GHz – 3.8 GHz) The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority completes its 3.4 to 3.8 GHz spectrum auction, with all three operators securing spectrum: Telia Finland: 3410 to 3540 MHz, Elisa Finland: 3540 to 3670 MHz, DNA: 3670 to 3800 MHz.[65] Finland
2018 September Spectrum use Verizon Millimeter wave Verizon states that "millimeter-wave spectrum is the cornerstone in enabling our 5G Ultra Wideband network" and that this spectrum is like "a superhighway that's capable of moving massive amounts of traffic, at super-high speeds, on thousands of lanes lined up side by side."[66] United States
2018 October 1 Network launch Verizon Millimeter wave Verizon launches new 5G millimeter wave fixed–wireless access (FWA) service, starting in certain neighbourhoods of Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento.[67] The company is the first to have a non-standards-based deployment, that is actually a fixed broadband network.[64] United States
2018 November Testing Samsung, Turkcell Turkish mobile phone operator Turkcell trials 5G fixed wireless access solutions with Samsung in Istanbul.[30] Turkey
2018 November Infrastructure Smart Communications Smart Communications rolls out their first 5G cell sites in the Philippines.[30] Philippines
2018 November Testing Nokia, StarHub Sub-6GHz (3.5 GHz) Singaporean telecommunications provider StarHub announces, in partnership with Nokia, the completion of their first outdoor pilot of 5G on the 3.5 GHz frequency band in Singapore.[30] Singapore
2018 November Partnership Ericsson, MTN Group Millimeter wave (28 GHz)[68] South African mobile telecommunications company MTN Group partners with Ericsson to deploy a fixed wireless access 5G site in Midrand, South Africa.[30][69] South Africa
2018 November Infrastructure Telenor Norwegian Telenor launches three 5G base stations in Kongsberg.[30][70] Norway
2018 November 29 Testing NTT Docomo, Toyota Millimeter wave (28 GHz) NTT Docomo and Toyota announce having successfully controlled the Toyota-developed T-HR31 humanoid robot in trials using 5G under a test environment with control from a remote location (a distance of approximately 10 kilometers) using 5G in an area between two points.[71] Japan
2018 December Testing TeliaSonera, Ericsson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology TeliaSonera, Ericsson, and KTH Royal Institute of Technology launch 5G testbed in Stockholm.[62] Sweden
2018 December Network launch KT Corporation, SK Telecom, LG Uplus Sub-6GHz (3.5 GHz) South Korean carriers KT Corporation, SK Telecom, and LG Uplus launch limited 5G commercial services in Seoul, and six metropolitan cities in 3.5 GHz band. With 5G Mobile Hotspot as a device, initial services target B2B customers.[72] South Korea
2018 December Network launch AT&T Millimeter wave AT&T becomes the first United States carrier to launch a standards-based mobile 5G network servicing a dozen cities, albeit without any 5G-enabled devices.[64] United States
2018 December Partnership Ericsson, Tigo Ericsson announces that telecommunications company Tigo has chosen the company to modernize its radio access network. The deal "includes the provision of a 5G-ready multi-standard network."[30] Honduras
2018 December Testing Telia Company Telia Company opens its first 5G test network in Norway.[73][30] Norway
2018 December Research and development Nokia, Telefónica Germany Broadband telecom provider Telefónica Germany announces that, in collaboration with Nokia, they finished building their "Early 5G Innovation Cluster" in Berlin.[30][74] Germany
2018 December Spectrum use China Telecom, China Unicom, China Mobile, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Low and mid-band spectrum China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issues 5G trial spectrum permits for low and mid-band spectrum to China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile.[23] China
2019 January Technology Sprint Corporation, Nokia, Qualcomm Sub-6GHz (2.5 GHz) Sprint Corporation, Nokia and Qualcomm complete the world's first over-the-air 5G data transmission using 2.5 GHz.[62] United States
2019 January Technology T-Mobile, Ericsson, Intel 600 MHz T-Mobile, Ericsson, and Intel conduct the world's first 5G data call and video call on 600 MHz on a live commercial network.[62] United States
2019 February Milestone (technology) Hospital Clinic Barcelona A team of doctors at Hospital Clinic Barcelona carries out the world’s first 5G-powered telementored operation (removal of a cancerous tumor from a patient's colon), with surgeon overseeing the procedure at over three miles away.[75][76] Spain
2019 February Partnership Nokia, Saudi Telecom Company Nokia and Saudi Telecom Company sign deal for 5G network launch and early rollout of services in Saudi Arabia.[30][77] Saudi Arabia
2019 February Partnership Nokia, Telecom Egypt Telecom Egypt and Nokia agree to introduce a 5G network in Egypt.[78][30] Egypt
2019 March Product launch Global Mobile Suppliers Association The Global Mobile Suppliers Association releases the industry's first database tracking worldwide 5G device.[79]
2019 March Partnership Huawei, U Mobile, ZTE Corporation, Maxis Communications Malaysian provider Maxis Communications, Huawei, U Mobile, and ZTE Corporation sign a memorandums of understanding to collaborate on 5G deployment in Malaysia.[30] Malaysia
2019 March Network launch Verizon Millimeter wave[80] Verizon activates its standards-based 5G network in Minneapolis and Chicago, before mobile 5G devices are available.[64] United States
2019 March 30 Network launch China Mobile Shanghai starts both 5G coverage and broadband gigabit network trial runs, backed by Chinese telecom giant China Mobile.[81][82] China
2019 April 3 Milestone (network launch) SK Telecom, KT, LG Uplus Sub-6GHz (3.5 GHz)[83] South Korea becomes the first country to adopt 5G when three companies launch the world's first nationwide 5G mobile.[62][84] The three main telecommunication companies (SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus) add more than 40,000 users to their 5G network on the launch day.[85] South Korea
2019 April 3 Network launch Verizon Millimeter wave Just hours later of 5G launch in South Korea, Verizon launches its 5G services in the United States.[86] United States
2019 April 17 Network launch Ericsson, Swisscom Sub-6GHz (3.5 GHz)[87] Ericsson and Swisscom launch 5G network in 54 cities and communities in Switzerland. It is the first commercial 5G in Europe.[62][62][88][89][90] Switzerland
2019 April 22 Spectrum use T-Mobile Millimeter wave T-Mobile Chief technology officer Neville Ray writes that millimeter wave spectrum "will never materially scale beyond small pockets of 5G hotspots in dense urban environments,"[66] United States
2019 April Product launch Samsung Samsung announces having started mass production for its 5G chips. Among the new chip offerings is the Exynos Modem 5100, which contains a 5G multi-mode chipset.[91] South Korea
2019 April Spectrum use >24 GHz Japan allocates over 24 GHz spectrum for 5G.[23] Japan
2019 May 16 Product launch Verizon Verizon begins selling Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.[64] United States
2019 May 24 Network launch Telstra Sub-6GHz (3.6 GHz)[92] Australian network operator Telstra launches limited 5G services in the country with a device that customers can use to connect other devices.[93] Australia
2019 May 30 Network launch EE Limited Sub-6GHz Mobile network operator EE Limited launches first 5G consumer mobile network in the United Kingdom in select locations in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester.[94][95][96][97] United Kingdom
2019 May 30 Network launch Etisalat Emirati multinational Etisalat launches 5G commercial service in the United Arab Emirates, along with ZTE 5G smartphone.[98][99][100] United Arab Emirates
2019 Late May Network launch Sprint Corporation Sub-6GHz (2.5GHz mid-band) Sprint Corporation launches 5G service in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Kansas City.[62] United States
2019 May Technology As of date, 30% of international patents related to 5G connectivity standards are from China.[23] China
2019 Late May Network launch Sprint Corporation Sub-6GHz (2.5GHz mid-band) Sprint Corporation launches 5G service in Chicago.[62] United States
2019 June 5 Network launch Batelco Batelco becomes the first to launch a commercial 5G network in Bahrain.[101][102][103] Bahrain
2019 June 5 Network launch Vodafone Vodafone launches 5G in Italy in five cities: Naples, Bologna, Milan, Turin, and Rome.[30][104] Italy
2019 June 6 Partnership Huawei Huawei signs a deal with Russian network provider MTS to develop a 5G network in the country over the next year.[105][106][107] China, Russia
2019 June 15 Network launch Huawei, Vodafone Huawei and Vodafone roll out in collaboration the first commercial 5G mobile services in Spain, making it one of the first European countries with the ultrafast mobile network in Europe.[108][109] Spain
2019 June 19 Network launch STC Group Sub-6GHz (3.5 GHz)[110] STC Group becomes the first operator to launch 5G commercial services in Saudi Arabia, making it available to customers in a number of cities in the Kingdom.[111] The service uses Ericsson commercial hardware.[112][113][114] Saudi Arabia
2019 June 27 Network launch Ericsson, RCS & RDS Ericsson and Romanian operator RCS & RDS launch Romania’s first 5G commercial service in the busiest parts of Bucharest.[115] Romania
2019 June Userbase South Korea reaches over one million 5G subscribers.[116] South Korea
2019 June Infrastructure Qualcomm American tech company Qualcomm starts construction of a 5G center in Taipei.[117] 5G service is expected to be available in Taiwan by January 2020, according to Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai.[118] Taiwan
2019 June Policy China Telecom, China Unicom, China Mobile China Telecom, China Unicom, China Mobile are allocated commercial 5G licenses for deployment in China.[23] China
2019 Late June Userbase Over 1.6 million people are subscribed to 5G in South Korea, accounting for 77 per cent of the global population of 5G users. At the time, there are 14 times as many South Koreans using 5G as there are Americans.[119] South Korea
2019 July 9 Network launch Huawei, Monaco Telecom Monaco Telecom launches its 5G network covering the entire city area in conjunction with the presentation of the commercial offer.[120][121] The microstate becomes the first in the world to have to have full, operational 5G coverage. The network is built by Huawei.[122][123][124] Monaco
2019 July 16 Network launch SK Telecom, Swisscom SK Telecom and Swisscom launch 5G roaming services for Koreans visiting Switzerland.[125][126][127] Switzerland
2019 July 16 Infrastructure Vodafone Vodafone activates its first 25 5G base stations in Germany.[30][128] Germany
2019 July 18 Product launch Verizon Verizon announces 5G hotspot, the Inseego 5G MiFi M1000, at a cost of around US$600.[129][130]
2019 July 26 Infrastructure Telecom Italia, Vodafone Telecom Italia and Vodafone agree to merge their mobile tower infrastructure and to jointly roll out 5G in Italy.[131][132] Italy
2019 July Testing Smart Axiata Cambodian telecommunications service provider Smart Axiata showcases the Cambodia's first 5G live trial.[30][133] Cambodia
2019 August 5 Product launch ZTE ZTE releases the first 5G phone in China with the launch of the Axon 10 Pro 5G t, which comes equipped with a 6.47-inch 1080p AMOLED display, and will use one of Qualcomm’s first generation X50 5G modems to connect to China’s upcoming 5G wireless network.[134][135] China
2019 August 5 Network launch Ericsson, Vodafone Ericsson and Vodafone launch in Germany a commercial 5G network using Ericsson products and solutions, with their sights set on bringing 5G to 20 million people in the country by the end of 2021.[136] Germany
2019 August 6 Network launch AT&T Sub-6GHz[137] AT&T rolls out limited 5G in parts of New York City, but only accessible to business customers and developers. As of date, AT&T lags behind Verizon, which offers 5G services in nine cities.[138][139][140][141] United States
2019 August 8 Network launch Ericsson, Tele2 Ericsson and Tele2 launch Russia's first 5G zone in central Moscow. Ericsson provides the equipment for the network, which is run by Tele2.[142][143][144] Russia
2019 August 13 Network launch Vodafone Sub-6GHz (3.6 GHz)[145] Vodafone launches 5G services in five Irish cities: Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.[146] Ireland
2019 August Testing Zong 4G Pakistani mobile data network operator Zong 4G becomes the first company in Pakistan to test 5G services.[30] Pakistan
2019 August Testing Qualcomm Millimeter wave Qualcomm announces work in Russia with local operators and the Moscow government to set up a trial millimeter wave 5G network by the fall. The network would be used for fixed and mobile services for applications like augmented and virtual reality.[147] Russia
2019 Late August Network launch Sprint Corporation Sub-6GHz (2.5GHz mid-band) Sprint Corporation launches 5G service in Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.[62] United States
2019 September 1 Network launch Huawei Huawei deploys 5G In Russia.[148] Russia
2019 September 2 Partnership Iliad SA, Nokia French telecommunications provider Iliad SA announces partnership with Nokia as for 5G network deployments in France and Italy.[149][150][151] France, Italy
2019 September 3 Product launch Samsung Samsung announces the launch of its first SoC that integrates 5G connectivity. The device, called Exynos 980, combines a 5G modem and mobile application processor into one chip, thus increasing power efficiency and occupying less space within smartphones compared to older generation SoCs.[152][153][154][155]
2019 September 5 Network launch Verizon Millimeter wave[66] Verizon launches 5G in National Football League stadiums across the United States, with 13 expected to be live by the start of the 2019-20 football season. Attendees would still need to have a 5G compatible phone to access the 5G networks, which can download data 10 to 100 times faster than the average 4G LTE connection.[156][157][158][159][160] United States
2019 September 6 Product launch Qualcomm Both Millimeter wave and Sub-6GHz American company Qualcomm announces expansion of its 5G modems across its Snapdragon 8 series, 7 series and 6 series processors.[161][162] United States
2019 September 9 Public reception Several hundred people demonstrate in The Hague against the arrival of 5G mobile phone networks in the Netherlands, and call for the government to reduce the level of permitted radiation from the new generation mobile phones, improve privacy regulations and assess the effect on the climate.[163] Netherlands
2019 September 9 Partnership Samsung, SK Telecom Samsung announces partnership with SK Telecom to develop and commercialize the world's first 8K-5G TV. The device is expected to offer ultra-high resolution screen that is also capable of extremely fast connection speeds, enabling users to download VR and other data-heavy content.[164][165] South Korea
2019 September 10 Partnership NTT Docomo, Omron, Nokia NTT Docomo announces agreement with Omron and Nokia Networks to collaborate in trials of 5G mobile communication technology inside factories, "with the aim of significantly enhancing future manufacturing productivity". [166] Japan
2019 September 16 Acquisition Qualcomm Qualcomm announces full acquisition of RF360 (a joint venture between TDK and Qualcomm) in order to boost content in 5G smartphones.[167][168][169][170]
2019 September 18 Network launch Rain Sub-6GHz (3.6 GHz) South African data-only operator Rain launches a commercial 5G wireless home broadband service in parts of Johannesburg and Tshwane, the first 5G network in the country.[171][172][173] South Africa
2019 September 19 Product launch Huawei Huawei launches a new 5G flagship smartphone lineup without pre-installed Google-licensed apps.[174][175] China
2019 September Network launch NTT Docomo NTT Docomo launches pre-commercial 5G services.[30] Japan
2019 September Network launch Deutsche Telekom Deutsche Telekom rolls out 5G in Germany in Berlin, Darmstadt, Munich, Bonn, and Cologne.[30][176] Germany
2019 October Testing Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes 26 GHz French regulator Arcep announces first eleven projects for 5G trials in 26 GHz band.[177] France
2019 October 8 Partnership Ericsson, Telia Ericsson is selected by service provider Telia as its sole 5G radio access network (RAN) vendor for Telia's next-generation nationwide network in Norway. 5G rollouts are expected to start in 2020 and extend through 2023.[178][179] Norway
2019 October 11 Network launch BT Mobile Sub-6GHz BT Mobile launches 5G services in the United Kingdom, in 20 cities.[30] United Kingdom
2019 October Network launch Eir Irish broadband telecommunications company Eir launches 5G in Ireland with help from Ericsson’s 5G core. The network is expected to cover up to 110 towns and cities around the country in a number of weeks.[180] Ireland
2019 October Testing VEON Sub-6GHz (3.7 GHz) VEON launches a 5G trial on a live network in Kazakhstan.[30][181] Kazakhstan
2019 November 1 Network launch China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom Sub-6GHz (3.4 GHz – 3.6 GHz)[23] China state carriers China Mobile (CHL), China Telecom (CHA) and China Unicom (CHU) formally announce the rollout of 5G service, laying out their price plans and data speeds. All three offer 5G plans that start at 128 yuan (US$18) for 30 GB of data per month.[182][183][184] China
2019 November 11 Partnership Zain Group, Ericsson Kuwaiti mobile telecommunications company Zain Group announces having selected Ericsson to build its 5G network in Bahrain, with the first commercial 5G services expected to go live before the end of 2019.[185] Bahrain
2019 November 14 Partnership Ericsson, MTN South Africa MTN South Africa selects Ericsson as a 5G network modernization vendor. Ericsson would supply 5G products and solutions from its Radio Access Network (RAN), transport and Core portfolios, with commercial rollout expected to start in 2020.[186] South Africa
2019 November 15 Technology Samsung, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Openet Samsung Electronics, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and software vendor Openet announce the successful integration of a cloud-native 5G standalone (SA) Core with multivendor interoperability. The test features the integration of Samsung’s control, user plane network function, and orchestrator with HPE’s shared data environment and network functions, and Openet’s cloud-native network functions software. A 5G SA core would allow operators to offer many of the new services considered paramount to 5G, including network slicing, mobile edge computing, analytics driven by artificial intelligence, and ultra-low latency networks.[187][188][189] South Korea
2019 November 19 Network launch Verizon 28 GHz[190] Verizon ads 5G network to Boston, Houston and Sioux Falls, bringing the total number of cities with the carrier’s next-generation network to 18.[191] United States
2019 November 20 Network launch EE Limited Sub-6GHz EE Limited announces having switched on 5G technology in 14 new cities and towns across the United Kingdom, adding the service to Castlereagh, Guildford, Hamilton, Harlow, Hoddesdon, Kimberley, Lisburn, Maidstone, Sydenham, Watford and Wolverhampton, as well as Liverpool, Glasgow and Huddersfield.[192] United Kingdom
2019 November 21 Infrastructure As of date, China has 113,000 5G base stations.[193] China
2019 November 22 Infrastructure International Telecommunications Union Millimeter wave Delegates at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19), a quadrennial gathering of regulators and governments organized by the United Nations-affiliated International Telecommunications Union, identify several millimeter wave bands that could be used for 5G networks. These include 24.25-27.5 GHz, 37-43.5 GHz, 45.5-47 GHz, 47.2-48.2 and 66-71 GHz.[194] Egypt
2019 November Spectrum use Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes Sub-6GHz (3.4 GHz – 3.8 GHz) French regulator Arcep (Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes) publishes and submits to the government the conditions for awarding licences to use frequencies in the 3.4 GHz to 3.8 GHz band in France. Arcep states: “The 3.4-3.8 GHz band is the core band for 5G whose deployment promises to make French businesses more competitive and drive innovation, in addition to satisfying users’ expectation of having access to increasingly powerful mobile services.”[195] France
2019 November Policy German Government Sub-6GHz (3.7 GHz – 3.8 GHz) Germany offers to private companies corporate licenses to fractions of 3.7-3.8GHz wireless spectrum for 5G services.[196] Germany
2019 December 3 Network launch T-Mobile Millimeter wave T-Mobile launches 600MHz 5G in the United States, becoming the first American carrier to offer 5G access across the country.[197][198] The network is expected to cover more than 200 million people and more than 1 million square miles. The company is expected to add mid-band spectrum for broad coverage and performance as well as millimeter wave spectrum for hotspot-like coverage in dense urban areas.[199] United States
2019 December 10 Milestone (technology) Ericsson Sub-6GHz (2.3 GHz) Australian telecommunications company Optus claims to have made the world’s first 5G data call using lower frequency 2.3 GHz spectrum in a trial completed in Sydney using kit from Ericsson. The lower frequency is expected ultimately to offer even greater speeds as well as providing greater coverage depth enabling even more customers to benefit from 5G services.[200] Australia
2019 December 11 Partnership Nokia Nokia announces development of a strategic partnership ecosystem to bring local 5G/private wireless LTE to industrial and government customers in Japan. These five Nokia partners span multiple segments, including NS Solutions for factory IoT, Marubeni for global IoT, Internet Initiative Japan for Full MVNO, Equinix for multi-cloud and global data centers, and Hitachi Kokusai Electric.[201] Japan
2019 December 11 Research and development SK Telecom, Samsung Heavy Industries South Korean SK Telecom and Samsung Heavy Industries announce joint development of a 5G-based autonomous platform for testing of the technology. The test ship, built by SHI, is equiped with remote control capabilities, 5G-based Lidar, a cloud-based IoT platform and real-time video monitoring from SK Telecom.[202] South Korea
2019 December 11 Network launch Deutsche Telekom Sub-6GHz Deutsche Telekom launches commercial 5G services in Hamburg.[203] Germany
2019 December Userbase Chinese 5G smartphone users are reported to outperform South Korean users, following 5G commercial launch in November in China.[8] China
2020 January 16 Infrastructure Galaxy Space 227-kilogram Yinhe–1 (Galaxy-1) technology verification satellite for Beijing-based communications satellite producer Galaxy Space launches. It is the first private 5G low-orbit broadband satellite China successfully puts in orbit.[204][205] China
2020 January 17 Testing ZTE Corporation, MTN Uganda Sub-6GHz (60 MHz)[206] ZTE Corporation and MTN Uganda successfully roll out 5G technology trial in Uganda, which becomes the first country in East Africa to adopt 5G technology.[207][208] Uganda
2020 January 29 European Commission The European Commission issues its guidance on 5G and the role that "high-risk" vendors should play in networks. The non-binding EC recommendations call on member states to strengthen security requirements, assess the risk of suppliers, restrict suppliers considered to be high-risk, reveal exclusions for key assets considered as critical (such as the core network), set up a legal or regulatory framework to control the use of outsourced suppliers, and ensure governments get audit telecoms operators to provide detailed data on sourcing of 5G equipment.[209] European Union
2020 January Research and development Ericsson Ericsson announces a new R&D site in France with up to 300 employees. The site would focus initially on 5G software development and security.[210][211][212] France
2020 February 12 Policy Swiss Government Switzerland places an indefinite moratorium on the rollout of 5G over health concerns.[213] Switzerland
2020 February 17 Education Nokia Nokia launches a 5G certification program with the purpose to train and certify business and technology professionals at communications service providers and enterprises.[214][215]
2020 February 18 Technology Qualcomm Millimeter wave Qualcomm announces new 5G modem and millimeter wave antenna module, as well as a Radio frequency filtering technology with several applications.[216]
2020 February 23 Testing Ericsson Millimeter wave Ericsson achieves the fastest maximum speed record of 4.3 Gbps on the millimeter wave spectrum, breaking the previous record if Huawei.[217]
2020 February 26 Network launch du Millimeter wave UAE-based telecommunications provider du announces successful deployment of the MENA's first millimeter wave site at the du arena in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, which is expected to provide the region’s highest ultra-high mobile broadband 5G services, increase coverage, and accelerate the pace of widespread 5G usage in the country.[218] United Arab Emirates
2020 February 27 Network launch Google Fi Millimeter wave Google Fi announces millimeter wave officially listed as being available in “pockets of select cities” by the carrier, with Google having yet to detail a specific 5G arrangement. Google Fi already uses T-Mobile’s 5G network on supported phones.[219] United States
2020 March 4 Infrastructure Ericsson Millimeter wave Ericsson announces production of the first 5G base station, millimeter wave Street Macro units, at its new factory in the United States.[220] United States
2020 March 5 Network launch AT&T Millimeter wave AT&T expands its 5G network and launches millimeter wave connections for its customers.[221]
2020 March 12 Infrastructure Verizon Millimeter wave Verizon announces acquisition of a metric ton of millimeter wave 5G spectrum from the FCC in Auction 103, spending over US$1.6 billion to purchase 4,960 licenses from the FCC to bolster their 5G network. The purchase implies 50% more spectrum than AT&T, which was the next-highest bidder at US$1.186 billion for 3,267 licenses.[222]
2020 June Network launch Viettel Vietnamese telecommunication company Viettel plans to launch commercial 5G mobile services by this time.[30][223] Vietnam
2020 July Network launch NTT Docomo NTT Docomo plans to have 5G base stations in all 47 Japanese prefectures by this time.[224] Japan
2021 Spring Network launch NTT Docomo NTT Docomo plans to reach a total of 10,000 5G base stations by this time.[224] Japan
2023 Network launch China Tower State-owned telecommunication provider China Tower expects to reach 5G national coverage by this year.[9] China
2024 Userbase 5G subscriptions are expected to reach 1.5 billion by this time, with US$301 billion in revenue, driven predominantly by high demand for faster speeds, according to September 2019 research from GlobalData. The Asia Pacific region is expected to be the biggest market.[225][226]
2024 A new study finds that total operator-billed revenue from 5G IoT connections would reach US$8 billion by this year.[227]

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